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Design and Construction of Structural Systems (Appendixes A-B) Federal Building and Fire Safety Investigation of the World Trade Center Disaster (NIST NCSTAR 1-1A)



Hai S. Lew, Richard W. Bukowski, Nicholas J. Carino


The collapse of World Trade Center (WTC) 1, 2, and 7 resulted from structural damage from direct and indirect effects of aircraft impact and the ensuing fires. Thus, for collapse analyses of these buildings, knowledge of the physical state of the structural and fire safety systems prior to the aircraft impact is essential. To obtain information for the collapse analysis of the buildings, National Institute of Standards and Technology reviewed design and construction documents, correspondence, and memoranda related to the building projects; interviewed individuals involved in the design, construction, and maintenance of the buildings; obtained information from regulatory and emergency services agencies of New York City; and reviewed books and published journal and magazine articles related to the WTC building projects. Information obtained from various sources are synthesized and summarized in this report. Specifically, this report presents (1) provisions used to design and construct the structural, fire protection and egress systems of the buildings; (2) tests performed to support the design of these systems; (3) criteria that governed the design of the structural and fire protection systems; (4) methods used to proportion structural members and other components of the buildings; (5) innovative features, technologies and materials that are incorporated in design and construction of the structural and fire protection systems; (6) details of deviations to the contract documents granted by Port Authority of New York and New Jersey; (7) fabrication and inspection requirements at the fabrication yard; and (8) inspection protocols during construction. This report also documents the fuel system for the diesel generators that supplied emergency power to many of the tenants in WTC 7. Findings from the synthesis of the information collected and resulting issues are presented.
National Construction Safety Team Act Reports (NIST NCSTAR) - 1-1
Report Number
Created December 1, 2005, Updated November 10, 2018